Lively Mess

Can You Order Marijuana Via Mail?

The convenience of online shopping has mail-order cannabis the way many Americans buy everything from groceries to clothing and electronics. But some items — including marijuana — remain illegal to order and receive via mail, even in states where it’s legal to use and grow.

Amid the boom in marijuana delivery services, federal law enforcement officials are intercepting more and more packages with weed, a Schedule I drug that’s prohibited by postal service rules. These seizures typically come after postal workers notice odors or other suspicious signs inside, such as a package that contains an excessive amount of tape or duct tape. Once the authorities have seized a shipment, they will often arrest the receiver on federal drug charges without giving them any advance warning.

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Some companies promise to deliver weed in special packaging and odor-proof bags that fool sniffer dogs, but the Times-Dispatch found these methods don’t always work. One delivery driver, RyShawn, who operates a local company in Richmond, says he typically makes two to three deliveries per day and earns up to $30,000 a year delivering cannabis products. He insists that his company only sells high-quality marijuana sourced from people he knows.

But even licensed delivery services must follow a long list of federal and state regulations. They must protect user data, limit vehicle inventories, lock products and ensure drivers don’t consume or handle marijuana while on the job. In some cases, the services even verify customers’ age.